Recovering From Mistakes
Mistakes, we all make them in our personal and business lives. In healthcare, mistakes come in many forms and can be minor or major. A mistake in the operating room can cost someone their life or a provider their career. A mistake in the credentialing or privileging process can put your organization in financial or legal risk. The question is, how does one recover from and move beyond an error? I actually get this question quite often when working with healthcare professionals and my initial response is “Always remember that everyone makes them”. Intellectually, you understand that as fact, but I believe it’s reassuring to hear it directly from someone who has been in your shoes.
While spending some time thinking about it, I discovered that I process mistakes in a systematic way. It’s funny that it wasn’t something I realized until sitting down to write this article.
Get Out of Your Head
It is easy to dwell on the experience, embarrassment, or judgment, but know the longer you go over and over the situation in your head, the more your self-esteem and confidence can be affected.
Identify the Lesson Learned
Identify what caused it, what you learned and what you can do differently next time.
Acknowledge and Accept
When an error is obvious to you and others, it’s vitally important to promptly accept responsibility for it, resolve it and reassure those involved that it won’t happen again.
Fix the Mistake
Review your process; make needed adjustments and work toward ongoing improvement. Ask for tools to help, if needed, or more education and support.
Focus on the Positive
Your accomplishments throughout the day measure all you do well. A mistake is just that and simply a part of what makes us human. The best way to shake it off is to work through it, resolve it and set a goal to not repeat it. Don’t dwell on the error, focus on the positive moving forward.
Walking yourself through a methodical process to identify and resolve mistakes will enhance your ability to get past it and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
About Donna Goestenkors
Donna is a full time healthcare consultant, speaker, author, educator, and mentor serving the Medical Staff Services industry for over 40 years. Her diverse project experience includes assignments in every work environment and rapport building among all levels of professional and executive staff. Donna is a past President of NAMSS and her client work covers all of the industry's environments from Healthcare Systems to critical access hospitals.